Snooker players ready to cue up as clubs reopen
- Credit: Submitted
When Mark Nicholls and Paul Allen pick up their cues this week, it will be the first time they have played snooker this year.
The men, members of The Jube, a club in Market Gates in Great Yarmouth, are planning to rattle off a few frames on Tuesday (May 18) - the first time they will have been able to do so since before Christmas.
Mr Allen, 42, said: "It's been such a long time coming. We've been watching the snooker on TV recently, the World Championships, and normally you're itching to get back on the baize.
"Before lockdown I was going four times a week," he added.
Last year, in between lockdowns, the club's members had entered the Norwich League, as well as competing in the Great Yarmouth and Gorleston League.
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Mr Nicholls, 52, said: "Because the Jube is a relatively new place, we wanted to raise the profile, so it was quite intense because there were a lot of matches involved.
"It was very busy pre-lockdown and then it all ground to a halt."
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Mr Nicholls has been playing the game for 30 years, since he was a teenager back in the 1980s when the game was at its height and players like Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins and Steve Davis were household names.
"I've played on and off but I hadn't played for a considerable time. I had just started playing seriously again before lockdown, so it was a shame. I'd got the love for the game again after a period of not playing due to family and work commitments.
"It was nice to see old faces. The camaraderie is important. It's good to get away and forget about stuff. Escapism is the word."
Ideally, Mr Nicholls would play for a few hours three or four times a week.
"It was disappointing because we'd started to get a rapport with a lot of players of old who had started to come back to play," he said.
He will play his first game in six months on Tuesday (May 18).
"We've just watched the World Championship, so that whets the appetite to play again," he said.
Bradley Fish, who owns the Jube, said he has reclothed the tables. "We've got them in the best condition they could be in, to optimise the play," he added.
Also reopening on Monday is Merlins, a sports bar on Apsley Road which has nine full-size snooker tables.